Qualified Entry: Non-Fiction Category
By: J.R. McRae
I suspect we all have them but they vary. I am not talking about a sense of falling. Doesn’t qualify. In mine, I sort of breeze along at a loping gait a la the strange lady shadow of Johnny Depp’s central character in The Ninth Gate. This loping gait consists of elongated gliding strides that only occasionally skim ground and which take you to heights about the level of phone wires. Going downstairs with multiple flights is interesting. You sort of crash into the wall before navigating the next flight down. They were ultra vivid! So vivid, one wondered why one could not just make that seemingly insignificant little leap into air. And stay there.
Recently, thankfully, my flying dreams took a refreshing turn for the better. I was teaching myself to fly on a grassy slope and managed to take off, swoop, change direction, land. It took a bit of experimenting and learning how to use previously underworked muscles, but I flew! Arms played a part in changing direction but, unlike wings, they didn’t seem to be the key element in flight. It was as if the body was navigating air more as if it were ‘water’, but lighter, vastly more fluid, less resistant. I flew high, clear, free of earth! It was utterly exhilarating! I want to be back there!
My husband, by contrast, has always had the most amazingly enviable freedom in his night flights. He swoops along coastlines, zooms in to city streets, soars among the clouds, ranges free along mountain rims, careering down cliff faces, diving towards the sea. He could see dolphins break the surface and whales and sharks hover under the waves. He could explore cities unobserved, see people walking down streets and alleyways, watch them pause to exchange greetings, see them move in and out of buildings, watch traffic waltz the intersections of metropolis. THEN… he did the ultimate.
He flew through rainforest, lush, dense rainforest. He rushed through foliage, down into the depths of a thickly forested valley, feeling it brushing him as he passed by. Then forest giants rose from the rainforest floor. They blocked his way but he didn’t flinch from his flight path. He flew through them… literally through them. He described in detail the sensation of becoming one with each tree as he passed through it and it melded and separated from him in turn and all at lightning speed. He said the oneness with the forest giants was almost spiritual. It was as if he and they were temporarily exchanging life forces, filtering what was his own life essence through that of each tree in turn.
Irritatingly, he has no recall of ever having not known how to fly. He has never had to ‘teach’ himself. It came naturally. He looks forward to these nocturnal journeys and delights in telling me the adventure in the morning. I am trying to discover his secret. How does he do this?
I am convinced, if he can fly so free and easy, so can I. I just have to get back to that grassy slope, run and leap and fly! Look out – it ain’t no bird, plane nor superman, just me! Here’s looking at you – from a height!